Other Yuletide favourites including brandy butter and bread sauce could also be absent this afternoon as a wind of change blows across our Christmas dinner tables.

A new survey by Imodium suggests that two-thirds of Brits will avoid traditional festive foods this year. Some simply dislike the taste, but even many confirmed sprout-lovers are running scared of symptoms such as bloating, indigestion and cramps.

But Christmas remains the season of indulgence, with over-eating found to be the most common cause of diarrhoea over the holidays. Almost four in 10 sufferers cited Christmas feasting as the root cause of their dash for the loo. And of those who regularly suffer from the trots, a whopping 72 per cent admit they can’t resist their favourite festive treats despite knowing the dire consequences.

Gastroenterologist Dr Anton Emmanuel says: “People tend to think that it is just overeating that causes festive tummy discomfort, but if you are prone to tummy troubles such as bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea there are certain foods that could be triggering your symptoms.”

Dr Emmanuel’s top tips for avoiding a tummy trouble-free Christmas include avoiding hard-to-digest foods such as Brussels sprouts and cheese. On a brighter note, some festive staples can actually help to resolve a dicky tum.

“If you’re having digestive problems then snack on gingerbread. Ginger has a beneficial effect on the digestive system as it increases the rate at which the gut moves, enabling faster and smoother digestion.”

The survey revealed other key causes for a dose of the skitters over the festive season, with one in five women blaming stress and almost one in 10 men pointing the finger at a visit to the in-laws.